'He's in our fantasy football group chat!' - Zimmerman says USMNT players remain close with both Reyna and Berhalter despite controversy

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Gregg Berhalter Gio Reyna USMNT 2022
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U.S. men's national team defender Walker Zimmerman says that the players remain close to Gio Reyna and Gregg Berhalter despite the recent controversy.
  • Zimmerman still close with Reyna and Berhalter
  • Dortmund star still in USMNT fantasy football chat
  • Reyna on fire for Dortmund in return to club game

WHAT HAPPENED? U.S. Soccer has found itself in turmoil since the start of the year, with a feud between Reyna's family and Berhalter plunging the program into chaos. Adding to the pandemonium is the fact that both Sporting Director Earnie Stewart and USMNT General Manager Brian McBride have announced that they will leave the program despite the ongoing USMNT head coach search.

For the players in January camp, though, it's business as usual under interim boss Anthony Hudson and, despite all that's gone on, Zimmerman insists that all involved remain friends with Reyna and Berhalter.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Of course," Zimmerman said when asked if he's heard from Reyna and Berhalter since the World Cup. "They were a big part of what we were doing in Qatar. I've definitely had contact with both.

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"For me, Gio is in our fantasy football chat, so we talked throughout the rest of football season. Gregg obviously was amazing for us with what we did in Qatar. So yeah, it's not an issue for us to keep in touch with them. We're friends. We're close. It's a nonissue for us."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Re-integrating Reyna will be a vital challenge faced by the next USMNT coach, whoever it may be. Berhalter remains a candidate, although the departures of Stewart and McBride likely lessen his chance of keeping the permanent role.

Reyna, meanwhile, has responded to the controversy in near-flawless fashion, scoring two game-winning goals for Borussia Dortmund upon his return to the club game.


Reyna DOrtmund celebration 2023

Berhalter Weah 2022 World Cup

Walker Zimmermann USMNT Serbia friendly 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? Zimmerman and the USMNT face one more match before the end of January camp as they'll host Colombia on Saturday after falling 2-1 to Serbia midweek.